Zac Gallen ramps up in D-backs’ final spring training game vs. Guardians
PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen felt healthy during his start in the final tune-up game before Opening Day, a 3-1 win over the Cleveland Guardians at Chase Field on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old said after throwing 3.2 innings that his pitches did what he wanted them to and his velocity is at a good place. His fastball sat around 93-95 mph.
He struck out two batters, getting shortstop Amed Rosario swinging at a slider in the first and then second baseman Andres Gimenez on a heater to strand a runner at third in the second frame.
Gallen exited the game in the fourth inning with runners on the corners and two down. He finished with 51 pitches thrown, an earned run allowed and four hits in his second start of the spring.
He wished, though, he was left in the game to escape the jam in the fourth.
“I know (I had) some pitches left, but it is what it is,” Gallen said. “I feel pretty healthy and bouncing back pretty good. I don’t see why anything should change.”
The starter had an MRI on his shoulder after it was stiff during the offseason, which slowed his ramp up in camp. Gallen reaffirmed he feels fine ahead of the season.
He will start Arizona’s fifth game, a matchup with the Houston Astros on April 12, which gives him a week.
“I would like to have been with everybody else in terms of building up to six innings for the first (game), but I just have to be a little bit more efficient on Tuesday,” Gallen said. “Maybe they’ll let me go six if I may get efficient enough.”
The D-backs jumped out early on Tuesday, as center fielder Daulton Varsho worked a leadoff walk in the first inning, stole second and scored on a Christian Walker double to left.
Manager Torey Lovullo started taking out starters after two innings to give opportunities to younger players.
The D-backs did not muster a hit from innings 2-6 but broke through in the seventh. Infielder Zach Walters brought in a run with a double chopped over the first baseman down the line. Catcher Juan Graterol then drove Walters home with a single.
Cleveland, meanwhile, managed only two hits after the fourth inning.
“It was a good way to close out the last game of the spring,” Lovullo said.
Lovullo mentioned the starting lineup from Tuesday is what the team will draw from to open the season.
That order included Drew Ellis at third base and Geraldo Perdomo at shortstop due to injuries to Josh Rojas and Nick Ahmed. Perdomo made a diving play up the middle to start a 6-4-3 double play in the third inning.
Seth Beer started at first base with Walker at DH, and Jose Herrera was the backstop as Carson Kelly had the afternoon off.
“We’re trying to figure out who are the best combination of guys,” Lovullo said. “I just want guys to pick up the baseball and play full speed on defense, that’s all I’m asking. Whoever does that best is going to get the most opportunities.”
Opening Day at Chase Field is Thursday at 6:40. The D-backs will face the San Diego Padres with Madison Bumgarner on the hill for Arizona.
Catch all the action on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.